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Real Estate Technology

Burner app allows agents the freedom to compartmentalize business and personal calls

Why pay money for a separate smartphone to take client calls from when you could just buy a new number with the Burner app?


Most adults of a certain age have had reservations about giving out a personal number. In a nightclub, you can easily deflect unwanted attention by providing a fake number. Of course, this does not work for a professional who needs to be reached for business purposes. So, if you are a professional or an entrepreneur working solo, how can you reach the public without making yourself public?


Stay connected like a boss

Burner is a new app that addresses professionals’ needs to be socially connected while also placing parameters around how they can be accessed. Here’s how it works: The app can be downloaded for free on iTunes. The company also provides a free trial period. After the trial expires, users can subscribe for $4.99 per month.

At this price, you can keep your Burner number indefinitely. Users also have the option of purchasing credit packs, priced from $7.99 to $11.99, which allow them to buy additional phone numbers and more minutes. A premium service offers unlimited calling, texting, and photo messaging, as well as the benefit of never having to worry about when to renew.

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All on a single device

The difference, however, between what you do in a nightclub and the service that Burner provides is that the phone numbers are real and belong to you. Burner selects the numbers through a random generator. The people to whom you place calls and from whom you receive calls will only see your Burner number, including an area code, on their caller IDs.

All calls are routed to your primary, private number, which no one who contacts you through this app will ever see. Text messages, too, are secured in the app. Custom line colors allow you to compartmentalize your callers, and help you to remember who has access to which Burner numbers, if you have several.

If you decide that you no longer need a number, or if you believe that your privacy has been compromised, simply dispose of the Burner number by tapping a button labeled “Burn it.”

Your number will instantly go out of service, and all data connected to this phone number will disappear from your smartphone.

Compartmentalizing with Burner

To some, this may seem like yet another way in which people complicate their lives with technology. To others, the perceived need for such an app is a reflection of the paranoia of our time – a paranoia that is both self-inflicted, as social media has created the temptation to make nearly every aspect of our private lives public, in addition to that which is imposed upon us by news of NSA spying.

Great for real estate agents

Certainly, the app is not for everyone. Many of us do not mind our co-workers’ ability to access a private line; we often provide that access. Yet, someone who offers his or her services to random strangers online or on the street might mind.

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Imagine that you are a dog-walker. You are putting your flyers everywhere – pasting them onto lampposts, stuffing them into mailboxes, and posting them onto announcement boards at cafes. Your phone number will be included on these flyers. You accept that most of your customers will want nothing more from you than your offer to pick their dogs up from a specified location of their choosing, take the dogs on 15-30 minute jaunts, and then return the dogs to a location of the customers’ choosing.

However, there is also the possibility that a few of your customers will have other intentions. A professional who seeks to protect the integrity of his or her business, and to filter out all nonsense, probably needs this app.

Burner connects with productivity apps

Burner is also convenient for those who want to make connections at conferences, people who are conducting independent sales and purchases (e.g. used car sales), and those who organize events. With Burner Connections, an additional platform, users can connect their Burner numbers to other professional apps, such as Evernote, Slacker, Dropbox, and SoundCloud.

Take it home (while leaving it at work)

The purpose of Burner is not to reinforce our insecurities about the Digital Age, but to help us sort through them. It is true that smartphones allow for data to be stored and shared like never before. It is also true that undesirable people have more access to us now. While we may be unable to avoid the messiness of our private lives, we can at least stop it from spilling out into our work.


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